Interleague Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, May 20th (All times eastern)
Miami Marlins (21-19) at Cleveland Indians (23-17), 1:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Miami - Josh Johnson (1-3, 5.36) Cleveland - Derek Lowe (6-1, 2.05)
(Sports Network) - After splitting the first two games of this weekend's series the Miami Marlins and Cleveland Indians will meet for a rubber match this afternoon at Progressive Field.
After pulling out the 3-2 win in Friday's game with a sacrifice fly from Hanley Ramirez, the Marlins' bats were silent in Saturday's matchup as they fell 2-0.
Jeanmar Gomez pitched 6 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing just three hits while striking out four batters. It is the second time this week the Marlins have been shut out as they also failed to score a run in a 7-0 loss to the Braves on Thursday.
Anibal Sanchez pitched well in scattering seven hits and a pair of runs over seven strong innings of work but was bested by Gomez and the pitching of the Indians bullpen, which did not allow a hit in 2 2/3 innings of work. Chris Perez struck out all three batters he faced on just 10 pitches to earn his 13th save of the season.
Asdrubal Cabrera hit his fifth home run of the season in the fourth inning and Jason Kipnis brought in a run with sacrifice fly to account for the entirety of the Indians' offensive production. Aside from the loss on Friday Cleveland has been playing well recently and has now won five of its last six to remain at the top of the AL Central standings.
Miami, meanwhile, has won three of its last five and remains near the middle of the standings in the NL East.
Hoping to keep riding his best start to a season since beginning the 2009 season 5-1, Derek Lowe will be looking to keep the Indians on track when he takes the mound in the series finale.
On a Cleveland team that is at the top of the AL Central, Lowe has been the team's best starter, compiling a 6-1 record and a 2.05 ERA through his first eight starts. Lowe's ERA is not only the best of any Cleveland starter, it is tops in the American League.
Lowe put together his best performance of the season in his last start by pitching his first complete game of the season while shutting out the Minnesota Twins in a 5-0 win for the Indians. Lowe scattered six hits and four walks across the appearance and did not strike out a batter.
The win gives Lowe six quality starts in eight outings this season and was his fifth straight. The Indians are 6-2 this season with Lowe on the mound.
The 16-year veteran has pitched in both leagues so a dip into interleague play will not be as big an adjustment. Lowe is 17-20 overall in his career in interleague play with a 4.21 ERA.
Adding to Lowe's familiarity will be the opponent. Lowe spent the previous three seasons in the NL East with the Atlanta Braves, giving him ample experience against the Marlins. In his career he is 8-5 with a 4.66 ERA against the Marlins.
Miami will counter with Josh Johnson, who is still trying to find the success he had before a shoulder injury derailed him for most of the 2011 season.
Johnson has begun to improve in his past two starts. The two outings have been almost identical with Johnson going seven innings in each start while allowing a pair of runs and striking out six batters. The most recent outing earned Johnson his first win of the season with the Marlins downing the Pirates 6-2 on Tuesday.
The right-hander's numbers are still less than impressive despite the turnaround with a record of just 1-3 and an inflated ERA of 5.36.
Johnson will have a full five days rest for this start, which is a good thing for Miami as he is 17-10 with a 2.88 ERA in his career on five days rest. Also on Miami's side is Johnson's success against the American League as he is 6-2 with a 3.38 ERA in 13 career starts in interleague play, although none of those starts has come against Cleveland.
Johnson will pitch without the benefit of MLB steals leader Emilio Bonifacio taking swings against Cleveland. Bonifacio, who leads baseball with 20 steals, was placed on the disabled list due to a left thumb injury.
Miami is 5-3 in this series history as the road team and has also owns the series lead overall with 13 wins in 20 total meetings.
05/20 11:15:15 ET